Thomas Riker, the codesigner of this house and a principal at design firm jamesthomas, calls the area of upstate New York state where it sits the “anti-Hamptons.” The Hamptons, a collection of villages on Long Island bordering the Atlantic, is known as a summer retreat for business titans and celebrity moguls, and the area contains some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. In contrast, “There’s a very Adirondack feeling to this part of upstate New York,” Riker says. “It’s almost like a throwback to a 1950s camp. It’s an area where the homes are quirky and unpretentious.”
This is where a friend whom Riker grew up with in Detroit decided to stake his claim for a weekend family retreat. They purchased a little cabin that had a lot of charm, but they wanted more room for the family — which includes two adults and three teenagers — and large gatherings with friends. It also was in a major state of disrepair. Together he, business partner James Dolenc and architect Leonard Woods made the house much more comfortable for the family while retaining its rustic sensibility.
Who lives here: A couple and 3 teens
Location: Upstate New York
Size: 3,700 square feet (344 square meters); 5 bedrooms, 3½ baths
Year built: 1920s
Although the exterior looks much the same, the interior rooms were refreshed and two additions were added. On the front of the house, a single-story addition contains a gracious entry, pictured here, a powder room and a mudroom. A new two-story structure was added on the back. “This structure made way for a screened-in porch on the upper level and a master bedroom suite on the lower level,” says Riker. “The porch is an informal living room in the summer.”
Although the room had a peaked roofline, it didn’t have the Douglas fir beams. The addition of the wood on the high ceiling brings it down to human scale and adds an element of casual rusticity.
The windows are original, but the window seat and sconces were added. “This is where the kids like to go and read,” says Riker. It’s also where they like to play games, so there’s a game table to the left of the window.
“My client found several trays that are made to look like vintage game boards,” says Riker. “She wasn’t sure what to do with them, but she thought they were cool. They look great hanging on the walls in this room.”